Play as a Cosmic Phenomenon


Play is a specific cosmic phenomenon. It is the most authentic human way of creating the human world, which means creating the new universe. In the act of playing, the process of cosmic life-creation attains a new quality – in which the specificity of man as a cosmic being is expressed. In ancient Greece play is the basic cosmic phenomenon of a divine (metaphoric) nature and, as such, represents a symbolic incarnation of the ruling relations and values. It is the most original way for man to integrate into the cosmic order. Man is the toy of the gods, and the world is their playground: the divine necessity for playing ensures survival of the human world and provides it with a meaning. Modern man is an emancipated cosmic being and, as such, the “nucleus” of the new universe. When man becomes a self-conscious libertarian being, play stops being a privilege of the gods and the instrument for devaluing man, and turns into man’s self-creation and the creation of the human universe. The essence of play is not determinism, which is fatalist in nature, but freedom.

A stance regarding the universe is a projection of the stance regarding the earthly living environment. In the contemporary world the prevailing stance regarding space (universe) is based upon the expansionist spirit of capitalism. By means of instrumentalized science and technique a “break” into the universe is going on in order to “conquer” it. Capitalistically degenerated science has the same stance regarding the universe as it has regarding the Earth: the universe has been reduced to an object of exploitation. The position of the “extraterrestrials” towards the Earth is a projection of capitalistically degenerated man’s attitude towards the universe. Technique, based upon the quantity principle that corresponds to the ruling principle of capitalist reproduction (augmenting of profit), turns into the destruction of human life-creativeness as a specific form of cosmic life-creativeness. “Conquering the universe” becomes a vehicle for obtaining a legitimacy in the endeavour to supersede “traditional humankind” and to create the new (master) race of “cyborgs” that will be able to “compete” with the “intelligent machines” and to “conquer” the universe. At the same time, the myth of the “conquest of the universe” is being used for preservation of the myth of the “progressive nature” of capitalism, which is being identified with the conquest, and for creation of an illusion that technical development would ensure the survival of mankind. The way the Europeans were “discovering” the new continents, contemporary man will be “discovering the new worlds and populating them”. The Earth is not man’s cosmic home that needs to be preserved; it turns into a springboard for the “conquest of space”. The “conquest of space” project is based upon an assertion that the Earth will “certainly collapse”, which contributes to a fatalistic surrender to destructive capitalist craving. The possibility that capitalism will destroy life on Earth is far more certain than the possibility that life on Earth will disappear – in five or ten million years. It is an issue that opens, by way of a cosmologic concept, the possibility of establishing a critical distance from the ruling order of destruction and towards creation of the new world: the stance towards the universe should function as a defence of life on Earth and of the development of humanness. The issue of the survival of humankind will be resolved on Earth, and not in space. Instead of “conquering of space” a clash with capitalism must take place in order to prevent the destruction of life on Earth.

The prevailing position towards reality, dictated by dehumanized science and technique, does not permit man to comprehend the essence of his own human existence, and, therefore, the essence of the world he lives in, and the essence of the universe. Ancient peoples were closer to the cosmic essence of man than the contemporary (petit) bourgeois, for they were, in spite of ignorance, prejudices, mythical conscious – guided by symbols of a holistic nature: for them the issue of the universe was the issue of man. Contemporary man possesses an incomparably wider knowledge, however, the way and manner of attaining this knowledge deprive him of comprehensive humanness without which he can neither ask the right questions nor provide the right answers. The more man knows about the universe, the more remote is the possibility for him to experience his own cosmic essence. Instead of human questions, man asks technical ones imposed on him by capitalistically degenerated science and technique – which mutilate man and annihilate the possibility for him to ask the significant human questions. Also, “primitive” man was conscious of what freedom and slavery were, in contrast to the “average” modern (petit) bourgeois who, being stuck in the nothingness of “consumer society” and the television screen that offers compensation in the form of an illusory world, has lost the notion of freedom. Capitalism deprives man of his natural cultural being and transforms him into a technical vehicle for the employment of assets – a walking mechanical corpse.

Development of man as a cosmic being is not possible on the basis of (mechanical) cosmic rules or by means of technical control of time and space, for they transform man into a mechanical (lifeless) “being”, but only by means of a quality that provides a possibility for a “union” with the universe – in which the cosmic essence of man is included. The universe that is being created by man is not comparable with the vastness of the cosmos. It has a qualitative, not a quantitative, dimension. Man’s attitude towards the universe, which means his attitude towards himself as a cosmic being, can not be established by means of technique, but by means of the esthetic that can enable man to supersede the quantitative dimension of the universe and reach (his own) cosmic essence. It is an issue of relating to the universe by means of symbols that enable man, as a life-creating being, to experience the universe. By means of those symbols the phenomenal form of the universe can be superseded and his very essence can be reached – by means of which a dualism of the earthly and the cosmic existence of man is being abolished. In that context a possibility is being created for the notion of “God” as the one, which supersedes the infinite quantum of the universe (the endless lot), where it is not an issue of “God” as a superhuman force, but of “God” as a constantly new, increasingly splendid product of the creative powers of man that represents a symbolic incarnation of the “unity” of man with his own cosmic essence. “God” becomes man’s host in his own cosmic home. A new clarification of the notion of “God the Son” is needed: man’s life-creating power represents an autonomous cosmic force that enables man – as a unique libertarian being – to be a creator of his own, which means of the new universe.

Man’s “conquest of outer space” is being achieved through development of his playing being. This is an issue of a specific human cosmic dimension – creative freedom and sociable disposition – which means, it is of a new cosmic quality upon which space and time that have no quantitative dimension, are based. In the physical universe, the passage of mechanical time is measured by movement through space; in the human universe, the passage of historical time is measured by the development of man’s creative powers, and eventually by his freedom. The physical universe is regulated by relations between celestial bodies (particles); the human universe is regulated by relations between human beings. Physical time is characterized by quantitative (linear) temporality; historical time is characterized by qualitative changes. Human existence represents opposition to the cosmic laws of motion which destroy quality and reduce everything to the lowest (energy related) level (entropy). The cosmic life-creativeness is fatalistic: all that is being originated eventually disappears. Human life-creativeness is productive: all that man creates becomes a (potential) basis for creation of the new. Solely man is capable of creating something new, of being the demiurge of the new world.

Man will not “enter” the universe through a hole bored by a science alienated from him. Telescopes and space sounds do not direct man towards his cosmic being; play does: the development of man’s playing being is a path that leads towards the development of his cosmic being. The key is not in the “conquest” of cosmic vastness, but in the development of spiritual richness and of interpersonal relations. It is an issue of “transformation” of the outer quantity into a human quality, of a “metamorphosis” of physical space through a widening of human space, which is not attained by means of technique, but by means of play. Cosmic space merely appears to be open. The openness of cosmic space is preconditioned by the openness of man, which means by the development of his creative powers. Fullness of man’s creative being is what fills the cosmic vastness. A thought, a song, a painting, an embrace – tell more about the essence of man as a specific cosmic being than do all the “space programs” combined. Finally, man’s stance towards the universe is a depiction of his stance towards his own self. The issue of infinity should be resolved in a manner that provides possibilities for man’s self-confirmation as a life-creating being. Man’s unlimited creative powers are the “measure” of infinity: the enhancement of humanness represents widening of the boundaries of the new universe. The essence of the physical universe is determinism; the essence of the human universe is freedom. By means of freedom infinity attains an authentic, in a word, a human dimension. The occurrence of man is the only truly cosmic occurrence; man’s becoming human is the only truly cosmic process.

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